Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Navy Halts Search For Third Crewmember In Medical Helicopter Crash

The Navy suspended its search and recovery mission today for the Airlift Northwest helicopter that crashed off the Edmonds coast on Sept. 29. Much of the aircraft has been recovered, according to a news release from the city of Edmonds. The parts will be turned over to the National Transportation Safety Board for its investigation into the cause of the crash. Searchers, however, were unable to find the remains of the third Airlift Northwest crewmember on the helicopter, "although every effort was made," according to the news release. There are no immediate plans to resume the search and recovery mission, but the possibility hasn't been ruled out, according to the release. Killed in the crash were pilot Stephen Smith, 59, of Whidbey Island, and nurses Erin Reed, 48, and Lois Suzuki, 47, both of Seattle. Reed's body was recovered shortly after the crash, and the body of another crewmember was found Sunday. Those remains were turned over to the Snohomish County Medical Examiner's Office for identification. The medical-transport helicopter was on a return flight to Arlington from Harborview Medical Center in Seattle on Sept. 29, when it crashed into the waters off Browns Bay in north Edmonds. The crew of the BATTLE POINT - YTT 10, a 186-foot Navy vessel, found the wreckage Friday night in more than 500 feet of water in Puget Sound

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